Salon: Issue 424
28 March 2019
Next issue: 9 April
The Society of Antiquaries of London Online Newsletter (Salon) is a fortnightly digest of heritage news. It focuses on the activities of the Society and the contributions that the Society's Fellows make to public life. A copy of Salon’s editorial policy can be found on the Society’s website.
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From the Desk of the General Secretary
Kelmscott Manor Carpark
Vehicular access to the Manor is one of a number of major hurdles that only a significant and capital-intensive development programme will overcome. The existing car parking will be upgraded and developed to accommodate all vehicles destined for Kelmscott Manor. Increased capacity will remove all vehicles from the historically and environmentally sensitive site and support growth in visitors to the manor in a sustainable way. The ground will be reinforced generally with a plastic mesh within the soil, which will retain the appearance of the grass covered field, but will improve resistance against traffic. Upon completion, the car park will be able to accommodate the movement of large coaches and allow vehicle passing at the entrance and it will be able to hold up to 145 parked cars and 3 coaches. Screen planting will ensure that suitable species provide adequate coverage (screening views of the carpark from the church) and it will keep all vehicles destined for Kelmscott Manor out of the village. We are now working on the Tender documents and plan to have a contractor in place to deliver this first phase of the project in September 2019.
Historic England Objects to Plan to Remove Decorative Tiles
These are some of the scenes on the walls of the Children's Ward at Bedford Hospital, photographed by M J Richardson (geograph, edited). There are 20 Nursery rhyme panels designed and hand-painted by Philip H Newman for W B Simpson and Sons, and a display over the entrance naming benefactors. Historic England says the tiles were probably made by Maw's, are some of the best examples of early ceramic artwork in children's wards, and that ‘it is rare to find such panels in situ'. The building, 1897/8 by H Percy Adams ‘in Free Renaissance style with Jacobean and Flemish details’, is Listed Grade II.
Bedford Hospital NHS Estates has submitted a proposal to remove the tiles to make the ward area ‘health care compliant’. They would be renovated and re-assembled for display at a local museum. According to the Bedford Independent (6 March) the hospital is responding to recommendations by the Care Quality Commission, after a 2015 review of the hospital, that the tiles pose an infection risk. The paper quotes ‘a former senior infection control nurse at the hospital’ who says, ‘I would categorically say that in no way would these tiles be a source of infection.’ The Higgins Art Gallery & Museum, Bedford said ‘it had not been approached about storing the tiles and they do not have the space to display them in their entirety’.
Historic England has objected. In a detailed response dated 26 March, it says it is ‘extremely concerned by the proposal to remove the tiles which would result in a very high level of harm to the significance of the grade II listed hospital. We are not convinced that a clear and convincing justification has been provided for the work and we wish to register an objection to the application on heritage grounds.' The tiles, adds Clare Campbell, referring to the National Planning Policy Framework, ‘make a very important contribution to the significance of the grade II listed Victorian hospital… While the panels are works of art in their own right, their location within the children’s ward of the hospital gives them, and the building as a whole, a particular significance.’ ‘It is not clear,’ concludes Campbell, ‘that there is a potential home’ for the tiles were they to be moved: ‘the application does not reference the museum to which they would be relocated’.
The county’s Conservation And Historic Buildings Officer, noting that that pre-application advice for similar proposals had been twice sought in the past, has recommended that consent be refused.
A Fashion for Megaliths
Back in January artist Jeremy Deller, photographer David Sims and Sofia Prantera of the fashion brand Aries created a brief exhibition, called Wiltshire Before Christ, at The Store X in London. Beside photography, installations, music and video, with Neolithic remains loaned by The Salisbury Museum, was streetwear printed with ‘Make Archaeology Sexy Again’ (some archaeologists mumbled unhappily about the penultimate word, some the last...). It had echoes of English Magic, a larger show in Venice in 2013, when Deller represented Britain at the 55th Biennale with prehistoric artefacts loaned by the Museum of London, photos of Avebury megaliths and a mural in which William Morris FSA sunk Roman Abramovich's luxury yacht.
Fellows also featured in the London project, not least Julian Richards FSA who wrote the text to an illustrated book. The front cover of Early Britain by Jacquetta Hawkes FSA appeared as a large object in the show, and copies of Introduction to British Prehistory by Vincent Megaw FSA and Derek Simpson FSA, and Prehistoric Stone Circles by Aubrey Burl FSA, were photographed against sarsen stones for the book, along with guides by Frank Stevens FSA and Richard Atkinson FSA. The message, I think, was that while this was whacky and humorous (with a happy-face sun rising though Stonehenge megaliths, and phallic jokes courtesy of the Cerne Abbas chalk figure) and partly about selling fashionable T-shirts (too pricey for Louisa Buck, who wrote in the Art Newspaper of ‘a deep and rich celebration of Englishness that extends … beyond our current limitations’), there was also a more serious point to it, about the past in the present.
Richards’ text is an informed read about monuments, excavations and history, with a nod to the A303 road tunnel controversy. But another of Deller’s slogans was ‘Stonehenge, built by immigrants’ – an archaeological truth, one way or another, if the argued implications of recent ancient DNA research are accepted.
In the exhibition, rave artwork and Stonehenge Free Festival posters from the 1980s recalled the Battle of the Beanfield, an unresolved violent conflict at Stonehenge between alternative communities and the conservative forces of police, press and government which Deller has examined previously in his art. Now, it seems, he is pitching Stonehenge between those caricatures again, a nationalist history and a government that promises to reduce overseas immigration, egged on by most of the press, on the one hand, and an alternative history rooted in antiquities, mid 20th-century paganism and rural (perhaps alien too) encounters on the other. As the Wiltshire Before Christ shop merchandise challenged English Heritage’s family-friendly goods at Stonehenge, so ‘built by immigrants’ is perhaps a response to a front page of the Sun newspaper in June last year, on the day MPs were to vote on Brexit: a photo of Stonehenge hung besides the words ‘Great Betrayal’ (in the event MPs backed the government, and the Sun).
Built by Immigrants, a work in the style of a UK road sign, is currently on the wall of The Modern Institute in Glasgow, which is showing Deller’s film (commissioned by Frieze and Gucci), Everybody in the Place, an Incomplete History of Britain 1984–1992 (until 11 May). Wiltshire Before Christ was said to tour to Milan in February, The Store X Berlin in March, and later to Tokyo and Florence.
Images of both Avebury and Stonehenge populate Deller’s work, but the Alexander McQueen fashion brand has focused on Avebury, and gone one better – in megalithic terms – by launching, in September last year, a range of women’s clothes by Sarah Burton on a Paris set dominated by five full-scale replica stones (above). Painted with restyled union flags, the stones were recognisable as real megaliths. Accompanying videos show models striding across the Avebury stone circle, climbing Silbury Hill and looking studious on the Uffington White Horse. The Spring/Summer collection is now being promoted on Paris kiosks. Spectacular suits (Greenham Common meets Wonder Woman, photos at top), and not a lot of politics.
Kiosk photo tweeted by M/M (Paris) @mmparisdotcom.
MEPs Pass EU Copyright Directive
On 26 March the European Parliament passed the Copyright in the Digital Market Directive, apparently ending a long project to modernise EU copyright arrangements. States have two years to bring the measures into law.
Cultural heritage institutions will be given rights over all works in their collections: they will be allowed to make digital reproductions for preservation purposes, to employ computational analysis techniques for the purpose of scientific research, and to digitise, and make available online, in-copyright but out-of-commerce works.
Article 14 of the directive allows that what is in the public domain in analogue form stays in the public domain in digital – rights cannot be claimed over a reproduction of a painting, for example, that is out of copyright. This was greeted with delight by Bendor Grosvenor, an art historian, who sees the move as vindication of his campaign to stop museums and galleries charging copyright fees for photos of works they hold, and, he argues, hindering scholarship and public engagement. Once the directive is adopted, he tweeted @arthistorynews, ‘if you want to publish a book with an image of a historic artwork, and that image is already published somewhere online, you can just use that image. You don't have to ask the museum.’ In the subsequent discussion curators pondered the implications, Northants Archives @NorthantsPast defended photographers' expertise, Polly Putnam @CuratorPolly feared for museums which rely on image use income, and C B Newham FSA @cbnewham chipped in to say, ‘It's an awful law. As bad as continual extension to the length of copyright. It should be fought and rejected.’
The media, like Newham, were more engaged with the implications for online image sharing, airing the argument that the proposals would suppress internet freedom – which has until now meant the freedom to avoid copyright laws that apply in more conventional media, to the profit of internet businesses and the benefit of private users (and Salon). Article 13 would compel online publishers to enforce tighter regulation over protected content, which Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the world wide web and Jimmy Wales, co-founder of the Wikimedia Foundation, among others, have said ‘takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users.’
‘Some of These Companies Smell a Bit... Isn’t it Great ’
A few weeks ago I wrote about the difficulties of public patronage, as the world becomes increasingly concerned about the sources of generosity, not just in past times, but today as well. BP or not BP? had staged a large protest at the British Museum, against BP’s sponsorship of the museum’s I Am Ashurbanipal exhibition, and at the National Portrait Gallery Nan Golding was threatening to pull out of a planned photography exhibition unless the gallery dropped a donation from the Sackler Trust. It was almost certainly impossible for the NPG to both take the money and show Goldin’s photos, but, said Charles Saumarez Smith FSA, it was more likely to drop the exhibition, as it depended on philanthropy.
Well. Things have moved on. A global controversy about Sackler grants is down to evidence claimed in US lawsuits alleging that Purdue Pharma, owned by the Sackler family, sold opioid drugs that contributed to thousands of deaths. On 19 March the National Portrait Gallery announced that it had ‘jointly agreed’ not to proceed with its £1 million Sackler grant. ‘The allegations against family members are vigorously denied,’ said the British Sackler Trust in a statement, ‘but to avoid being a distraction for the NPG, we have decided not to proceed at this time with the donation. We continue to believe strongly in the gallery and the wonderful work it does.’
Two days later Tate said ‘we do not think it right to seek or accept further donations from the Sacklers’, adding, ‘We do not intend to remove references to this historic philanthropy.’ Two more days and another mea culpa, this time from the South London Gallery. Run by an independent Trust, the gallery, reported the Sunday Times (24 March), said it had returned £125,000 to the Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation in 2018.
The next day the Sackler Trust announced that it was suspending “all new philanthropic giving” in the UK, and the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York, said it had no plans to ‘accept any gifts’ from the Sackler family. Neither did the Prince’s Trust in Britain, which announced that it would decline new donations from the Sackler family.
Christopher Frayling, arts writer and former Chairman of Arts Council England, spoke on the BBC Today programme of a ‘very sad day for the arts’. Corporate sponsorship, he said, had become increasingly important, and ‘It is one of the iron rules of fundraising that companies with an image problem are the people you go to first of all, because they’re the ones who have some ground to make up. They’re the ones who want us to make you feel good.’ ‘Some of these companies smell a bit’, he added, ‘and isn’t it great that they are giving their money to the arts rather than to anything else. Lots of good things have happened as a result.’
Two Fellows wrote to the Times on the matter.
‘One point in your panel on Sackler family benefactions,’ said Norman Hammond FSA (21 March), ‘is slightly misleading: the brothers, personally and through their philanthropic foundations, were munificent supporters of the arts, humanities and medical sciences long before Oxycontin was devised in the mid-1990s. My own archaeological research benefited for years from Raymond and Beverly Sackler’s quiet generosity before and since then, and I remain grateful for the confidence they showed in me.’
Peter Saunders FSA, Curator Emeritus, Salisbury Museum, was concerned about museum funding (22 March). ‘The reality is that as state investment in cultural organisations declines – by 11 per cent over four years – they have been obliged to listen to accountants, more worried over red than moral lines. However tainted Sackler money may now appear it has brought enormous good to cash-strapped museums: they do not deserve to suffer reputational damage retrospectively or calls to rename Sackler galleries, which are reminiscent of campaigns to remove the names of philanthropists whose wealth derived from the slave trade.’
Photo at top by Elliott Brown (edited) shows a plaque outside Mesopotamia, one of the Raymond and Beverly Sackler galleries at the British Museum.
I wrote about some pioneering female anthropologists in the last Salon, who had been highlighted in an exhibition at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. Now it’s time to think about some early female archaeologists, and consider a story that grew from a Twitter discussion about an excavation directed by Gordon Childe FSA in Orkney in the 1920s. The debate focused on assumptions about working women – and tells us as much about ourselves as about people nearly a century ago.
‘OK,’ tweeted Dan Hicks FSA in February, ‘I'm starting a new thread for this photograph—on the theme of the early history of women in Archaeology. The pic [top] is from excavations at Skara Brae, Orkney in 1930. Gordon Childe is to the left, workmen in the background and two women are to the right. One is holding a trowel. The usual story is that the women are tourists, or locals. But could one or both of them (also) be archaeologists?’
Sigurd Towrie, an Orkney journalist and archaeological enthusiast, suggested (@orkneyjar) that they were ‘Two local ladies on a visit to the site - Miss Georgina Foubister and Miss Jessie Rosie.’ These two are identified with Childe in another photo at the site, in which only the backs of their heads can be seen.
‘One of my favourite photos,’ tweeted Antonia Thomas (@assemblagiste), ‘by the wonderful Orcadian photographer Tom Kent … The photo is exquisitely composed, so that all eyes and lines lead to Childe @OrkneyLibrary but the women are tourists, not diggers....’
Hicks reminded that one of the women had a trowel in her hand (left), but Thomas responded, ‘All these excavation shots were highly staged. Childe played to the camera, and the crowds, constantly. The site was dug by workmen, who you can see in the background. Even if the women were visiting archs, or had their own trowels, they weren’t really part of the digging team.’
On 21 March Huw Williams wrote for BBC News under a headline, ‘Skara Brae women archaeologists who were written out of history’. ‘An “excavation” on social media,’ said Williams, ‘has provided names for four women shown in pictures of a dig in Orkney. The women - shown in photographs taken in 1929 - had been assumed to be tourists or visitors. But since Prof Dan Hicks, from the University of Oxford, tweeted the images they have been named as archaeologists working on the site. Those behind the search say it shows how women have been written out of the history of archaeology.’
A second photo from Orkney Libraries and Archives shows the four women, who are identified by Hicks and on the BBC News piece as (left to right) Margaret Simpson, Dame Margaret Cole, Margaret Mitchell, and Mary Kennedy ‘– the only one of the group who didn't go on to be an archaeologist. In fact, she later became a crime writer.’
Meanwhile, David J Breeze FSA, Rosalind K Marshall and Ian Ralston FSA had written an article about ‘Marguerite Wood and Margaret Simpson, two pioneering Scottish women,’ published in the Scottish Archaeological Journal (2019, 108–118), preceded by a shorter piece last year in Current Archaeology magazine. In both they identify the woman with the trowel as Margaret Simpson.
Born in Edinburgh, they say, Simpson matriculated at Edinburgh University in 1925, having studied seven subjects which included archaeology. She attended the First Ordinary Archaeology Class at Edinburgh in 1928/29 under Childe, newly appointed the first Abercrombie Professor of Archaeology. In 1929 she was on the excavation team at a Neolithic burial cairn at Kindrochat in Perthshire, where, according to Childe, ‘she was entrusted with the examination of one of the megalithic chambers and produced, quite unaided, an excellent plan with elevations’. Excavating with her were Mary Kennedy and Margaret Mitchell.
Childe later supported Simpson’s application to be an Assistant Inspector of Ancient Monuments in the Ministry of Works, writing to her from the Skara Brae dig, ‘I am really very keen that they should get the right person and I think that you are it. It’s good to have a woman.’ She got the job, and before long she, Kennedy and Mitchell were again excavating together.
So these women at Skara Brae, backed by one of the greatest archaeologists of the 20th century, could have been excavators, not visitors. But were they? I asked for help.
‘There is no evidence that students (of either sex) took part in the Skara Brae exercise,’ says Ian Ralston, ‘which was of a very different kind [to Kindrochat], underpinned by the need for consolidation of the site.’
In support of her job application, Childe ‘specifically makes fulsome mention of her field skills – at Kindrochat,’ says Ralston. But ‘There is no mention of her having participated at Skara Brae.’
David Breeze confirms this. ‘The records relating to Skara Brae have been scrutinised, and there is no mention of females working there,’ though, he adds, ‘This is not to say that they didn't.’
‘I think there is a fair chance that the 1929 Skara Brae photos include images of other (Edinburgh) Archaeology students (a handwritten caption on one image apparently states so)’, says Breeze. ‘I suspect they were visiting the site in pursuit of their studies, but have no confirmation of this.’
Breeze says the only woman they had been able to confidently identify was Margaret Simpson, confirmed by her daughters. There will very likely be further information out there, and this is a story that merits more research. For now, the likely hypothesis would be that the women photographed at Skara Brae were indeed archaeologists. And visitors.
Fellows (and Friends)
Ashley Barker FSA
, architect and historic buildings specialist, died in March.
The section also contains further notices on the late Roger Mercer FSA
and the late Peter Kidson FSA
Ralph Solecki, an American archaeologist who with his wife Rose Solecki excavated a significant collection of Neanderthal remains in the Shanidar Cave, Iraq, in the 1950s, has died at the age of 101. He graduated from Columbia University where he spent his career until retirement in 1988. As well as the scientific importance of his discoveries at Shanidar, they gained public fame from his imaginative presentations. Pollen from flowering plants was found in the soil around one skeleton, which he saw as evidence that garlands had been placed in the grave, deducing the male had ‘soul’; seven of the eight plant species, he argued, had medicinal properties. The burial inspired writer Jean Auel to create her character Iza, a ‘medicine woman’, in novels such as The Clan of the Cave Bear
, though the pollen has also been explained as having seeped through the soil from above. Christopher Hunt FSA, Graeme Barker FSA
and Tim Reynolds are leading new excavations at the cave. Photo
by Mahmoud Khudhir Sulaiman shows Solecki in 1953.
John Curtis FSA
has written of the achievements of the late Lamia al-Gailani, ‘the doyenne of Iraqi archaeologists and experts in ancient Mesopotamia’, in the Art Newspaper
(18 March): ‘Gailani studied briefly in the University of Baghdad and later at the Universities of Cambridge (BA) and Edinburgh (MA), before finally writing a PhD thesis at the Institute of Archaeology in London University, completed in 1977, on studies in the chronology and regional style of Old Babylonian cylinder seals. For the last 10 years of her life, Gailani was much involved in the project to establish a new museum for Basrah,’ after the original ‘had been looted in the aftermath of the First Gulf War and about half the contents stolen.’ Gailani ‘was a key member’ of a steering committee – which became the Friends of Basrah Museum – established in London ‘to complete what was by now perceived as a British legacy project… The project had an early boost with a generous donation from BP, and with this and other funds raised in the UK it was possible to renovate the building [a former palace of Saddam Hussein’s] and install an exhibition in one of the galleries, dedicated to the history of the Basrah region, that opened on 27 September 2016.’
Fifteen new Fellows were elected on 21 March:
Edward Banning (early agriculture in the Near East).
Caroline Barron (ancient history and Latin epigraphy).
Mark Beattie-Edwards (maritime archaeology).
Claire Breay (archives, early manuscripts).
Adam Brumm (early humans in south-east Asia).
Julia Crick (medieval palaeography).
Paul Fox (cultural property protection and representation of armed conflict).
Krista Kesselring (Tudor England).
Brian Martin Lodwick (religious history and architecture in Glamorgan).
Timothy McCann (archives).
Charles O'Brien (architectural history).
Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger (archaeology and heritage management).
Esther Renwick (community archaeology in Shetland).
Edmund Simons (archaeology and heritage management).
Tim Thomas (archaeology and historical anthropology of Oceania).
For details see Ballot Results
. Further details can be seen in the Ballot Archive
As always, I'm particularly keen to hear about the activities of new Fellows, please email Salon
His Royal Highness the Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay, has agreed to take on the Patronage of the Swandro-Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust. The Trust was formed in 2016 to respond to marine loss of archaeological sites along 980km of coastline. Steve Dockrill FSA
, the Trust's Chair, said in a statement, ‘The work of the Trust, and in particular our current research excavation investigating both the archaeology and the processes of erosion at the multi-period site at the Knowe of Swandro in Rousay, brings together two of His Royal Highness' interests. The Prince has long campaigned to raise awareness of the dangers of global warming and climate change, and read archaeology and anthropology as a Cambridge undergraduate. We hope that having such a distinguished Patron will raise the profile of the Trust and also make more people aware of the threat to our heritage posed by global warming.’ The Knowe of Swandro
consist of a Neolithic chambered tomb and a succession of settlements with stone-walled buildings of Iron Age, Pictish, Viking and Norse times, exposed on the beach and disappearing into the sea.
Paul Craddock FSA
has received the 2019 Colonel James Tod award, which honours nationals foreign to India in recognition of 'distinquished sevice of permanent value and understanding of the spirit and values of Mewar’. The award was made by the Maharana at Udaipur in Rajasthan and follows the publication of Early Indian Metallurgy
(2017). This reports the survey and excavation of early silver, lead and zinc production at mines in the Aravalli Hills of North West India. Silver was produced on a colossal scale, writes Craddock, at a number of mines operated by the Mauryans in the last centuries of the first millennium BC. Zinc oxide was also being produced at Zawar and there, in the first millennium AD, the scientific laboratory procedure for the distillation of zinc was developed into a commercially viable method for the large scale production of the metal, the first industrial high temperature distillation technology. Photo shows
(L–R) ‘Maharana’ Arvind Singh Mewar, his son Lakshyaraj, Paul Craddock and K Kasturirangan
Matthew Johnson FSA
has revised his Archaeological Theory: An Introduction
for a third edition. It’s extensively changed throughout, he writes, including a completely new chapter on ‘The Material Turn’, and heavily revised chapters on ‘Gender and Identity’ and ‘Archaeology, Politics and Culture’, as well as a rewritten ‘Conclusion’ and updated ‘Further Reading’. The publisher describes the book as ‘A lively and accessible introduction to themes and debates in archaeological theory for students of all levels,’ with ‘informal and easy-to-understand prose, as well as examples, cartoons, and informal dialogues’. The front cover, says Johnson, features his ‘favourite Nash, after Battle of Britain’: painted in 1935, Equivalents for the Megaliths
was inspired by concrete markers placed at the Sanctuary, Avebury, after excavation by Maud Cunnington and her husband Ben Cunnington FSA
Charlotte Higgins FSA
has been selected by Elif Shafak, a novelist, for the National Centre for Writing and the British Council as one of ten ‘exciting women writers in the UK
’. ‘Charlotte Higgins,’ said Shafak in a statement, ‘is an author with magic in her pen. From ancient subjects she conjures living text: vast conversations about who we are today and why the stories we tell really matter.’ Commenting on the honour, Bidisha, a journalist, wrote of Higgins’ book Under Another Sky: Journeys in Roman Britain,
that it 'delves into Britain’s Roman past archaeologically, geographically and culturally and examines the stories subsequent centuries of British writers have told themselves about the Romans’ presence in the land. Higgins also taps into a longstanding British literary preoccupation with landscape and the natural world – a Romantic longing for communion with the earth.’
Londoner Petre Romeo Cazan has been sentenced
to 7 years and 6 months in prison for theft and criminal damage at seven churches in Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire in 2016. Cazan climbed drainpipes to access church roofs, throwing lead to the ground which was collected in a waiting van. He took his phone with him, allowing police to map his presence in the relevant places at the right times, paid large sums into his back account within days of the offences, and left a record of his vehicles on number plate recognition cameras. As if that wasn’t enough (he also left a cigarette butt with his DNA on it), he had to abandon his van at St Laurence's, Foxton, Cambridgeshire, when it sunk into wet ground under the weight of lead. By the time he was apprehended he had caused nearly £190,000-worth of damage. Mark Harrison FSA
coordinated the preparation of impact statements for the sentencing process, to highlight the offences’ heritage elements; reference was made to sentencing guidelines from another case of heritage theft. Photo shows All Saints Church, Marsworth, Herts, which suffered damage costing £40,000, including to historic stonework (photo Gary Mudd/BBC
Erin Griffey, who was elected to the Society on 14 February, has been interviewed by the University of Auckland
, where she is Associate Professor in the Department of Art History. The honour, says the blog (15 March), recognises her world-leading research on Queen Henrietta Maria of France (1609–1669), wife of King Charles I and queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland. Griffey started researching the Stuart court after moving from London to Auckland in 2002, and realising ‘what a widely influential and deeply polarising historical figure’ Henrietta Maria was. Griffey says ‘she is honoured to become a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. “It has an esteemed history with such brilliant scholars and a strong sense of community and purpose.” She will be formally admitted to the Society during a trip to London later in the year.’
Graham Connah FSA
, now a Visiting Fellow in Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University, Canberra, has written From Cambridge to Lake Chad: Life in archaeology 1956–1971
. The 15 years of the title span the moment he ended full-time service in the Royal Navy, returning home to a Dorset where he no longer felt he belonged, to leaving Lagos, Nigeria to join Isabel McBryde FSA
at the University of New England in Australia. With much detail and many illustrations (often his own photos), Connah records his time at the University of Cambridge, excavating with Paul Ashbee FSA
in Wiltshire; his first job in Africa as a field archaeologist for the Nigerian Federal Department of Antiquities and his excavations at Benin City; return to England (‘It appeared in that summer of 1962 that Cambridge no longer had anybody interested in African archaeology.’); more Benin excavations, and so on, with anecdotes of many people – those he got on with and those he didn't – and places, including through the Nigerian Civil War, ‘when archaeological work continued with difficulty’.
In a recent Salon
I wrote about planning applications for film sets to be made on Salisbury Plain, and explained how due process was successfully assessing the locations and requiring survey and recording ahead of works where necessary – or, as the Daily Mail
had reported it, ‘Battle erupts over Steven Spielberg plans to film WWI epic.’ On 19 March MailOnline
reported that ‘Steven Spielberg wins battle to build WWI trenches and farmstead near Stonehenge after tests find Hollywood epic “1917” poses no threat to 5,000-year-old site.’ 'It shows that the process works,’ said David Dawson FSA
, Director of Wiltshire Museum. 'The archaeological evidence has been called and none of the work on the sites will be damaging. Everyone is a winner.' Assessed sites will be subject to archaeological watching briefs.
The peer-reviewed Journal of Forensics Sciences
has published an article by Jari Louhelainen, of Liverpool University, and David Miller reporting on their ‘investigation of, to our knowledge, the only remaining physical evidence linked to [the “Jack the Ripper”] murders, recovered from one of the victims at the scene of the crime. We applied novel, minimally destructive techniques for sample recovery from forensically relevant stains on the evidence and separated single cells linked to the suspect, followed by phenotypic analysis… To our knowledge, this is the most advanced study to date regarding this case.’ They pin the murders on Aaron Kosminski, a Polish barber, as Louhelainen had done in 2014 for a book written by Russell Edwards, when his evidence was dismissed by observers. It’s not clear that he and Miller have anything new. They do not publish in full the alleged DNA data (obtained from a shawl whose connection with the murder is not explained), which Turi King FSA told the Times
(19 March) ‘was highly unusual’. ‘I’m very concerned about naming Kosminski as Jack the Ripper without more evidence,’ said King.
Ashley Barker FSA
died on 11 March aged 91. He was a Lifetime Fellow of the Society, having been elected in January 1966.
Ashley Barker, the last Surveyor of Historic Buildings to the former Greater London Council (GLC), graduated from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London with its highest award, the AA Diploma Honours.
By the mid 1960s, when Frank Kelsall FSA
(1964) and Malcolm Airs FSA
(1966) joined Barker’s team, the GLC’s pioneering Historic Buildings Division, inherited from the former London County Council (LCC) in 1965, had two sections: a works department which looked after the council’s own properties, and a statutory section which dealt with planning and listed buildings. The Division had been previously dominated by architects, but was now bringing in historians. Barker, then Deputy Surveyor to W A Eden FSA
, an architect who led the statutory section and whom Barker succeeded to become Surveyor around 1970, was helping to achieve things which shaped the future of the London scene, and acted as a model for historical building preservation across the country. He later wrote, in the Architects' Journal
(1985), that ‘in the final result we are not so much aware of old and new co-existing side by side as of one single lively identity embodied in the still recognisable historic streets’.
Barker, says Kelsall, was ‘an outstandingly good witness at public inquiries’ and instrumental in the LCC/GLC’s pioneering approach to preserving relatively modern buildings, at a time when some of London’s grandest Victorian edifices were under threat: St Pancras railway station hotel survived, the Natural History Museum’s great hall was not filled with small galleries and Covent Garden was saved, but there were losses, notably the entrance to Euston railway station. ‘The GLC’, writes Airs, ‘was far in advance of anywhere else in the country in establishing a specialised division in protecting the historic environment, and both Eden and Barker after him were key figures in the conservation cause.’
‘I look back fondly’, writes Kelsall, ‘on the days when Ashley led a committed team through what many people regard as the conservation movement’s finest time – what one writer has called “the heroic period of conservation”. I devilled for the evidence for many public inquiries, and listening to Ashley give evidence at inquiry was a revelation; he was probably the finest expert witness I’ve heard. That experience served me well in later years when taking on the same role in inquiries in Liverpool, Manchester and elsewhere. He could describe and assess the merits of often complex buildings with such precision and clarity that one felt bound to agree with him.’
The GLC was abolished by Margaret Thatcher’s government in 1986, but the Buildings Division survived by being absorbed by the new English Heritage. ‘Successfully keeping his GLC team together and moved into English Heritage,’ writes Kelsall, ‘must count as one of Ashley’s greatest achievements.’ Barker stayed for two years. In the Spectator
in 1988, in a characteristically polemic attack on ‘the emasculating, undermining, enervating power of civil servants’ he feared were suppressing English Heritage’s independence, the late Gavin Stamp FSA
regretted the resignation of Ashley Barker from the London Division. ‘The official reason for this melancholy event,’ wrote Stamp, ‘is that he wishes to return to private architectural practice before he is too old, but it is impossible not to conclude that Mr Barker is distressed at seeing the decline of the division he has built up. … Lord Montagu quite rightly wants English Heritage to be “a centre of excellence on, and spokesman for, conservation matters”. If so, perhaps the administrators should have considered modelling the rest of English Heritage on the London Division rather than vice versa.'
Ashely Barker was Chairman of the Canterbury Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee, a member of the St Paul's Fabric Advisory Committee and Director of the Heritage of London Trust. He was awarded OBE in the 1975 New Year Honours. He was also a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
(14 March) has published an obituary of the late Roger Mercer FSA
, who died last December
. He spent his career, says the paper, ‘protecting and studying the monuments and landscapes of prehistory with great energy and military precision, transforming many of Scotland’s ancient monuments.’
One of his most notable excavations was at the neolithic Grime’s Graves flint mines in Norfolk. ‘The first sight that many visitors had of him was a slightly rotund figure at the bottom of a deep, hourglass-shaped shaft … Access here was by ladder: a visiting royal party had to descend in order of precedence, regroup in the shaft and re-emerge in the same order, much to Mercer’s amusement.
‘A larger-than-life character, he believed that hard outdoor work should be accompanied by fun. He knew that an army marches on its stomach. Catering – sometimes prepared by his wife, Susan, who spent her honeymoon on the neolithic settlement at Carn Brea – was always exemplary, but living conditions could be rudimentary.
‘While he was at the inspectorate of ancient monuments, one of his charges was the defence ministry landholding on Salisbury Plain. Mercer was keen that tracked vehicles should no longer be driven there because of damage to burial mounds. After a good lunch in the mess, and content with progress, he was escorted to the training ground only to see a tank roar over a round barrow. “Don’t worry,” said an officer, apologising. “I’ve got his number.”’
Nicola Coldstream FSA
has written an obituary for the Guardian
of the late Peter Kidson FSA
, who died in February
. He was, says Coldstream, ‘an outstanding historian of medieval architecture whose work and teaching inspired successive generations of scholars,’ and ‘one of the most stylish writers on art history of his generation’.
‘Both in the seminar room and on visits to buildings Peter demanded rigorous observation and analysis. He treated his doctoral students, of which I was one of the first, with the same wry detachment with which he observed the modern world, never imposing his own opinion, but allowing his students to pursue their studies as they wished, provided they could defend their position. If they could, all well and good, especially if the encounter was accompanied by the exchange of amusing gossip.'
The Wisdom of Fellows
Ann Benson FSA writes:
‘I found this small wooden toy soldier under floorboards of an historic house in Monmouth during the building’s restoration.
‘With delays in a response from the Museum of Childhood, can any Fellow offer an approximate date/period of time for this style of toy? I should be most grateful for anything that you may be able to tell me about this little toy.’
Jim Spriggs FSA (who enjoys ‘reading Salon every couple of weeks. Always full of fascinating stuff and useful information about events etc.’) saw in the last Salon that Norman Hammond FSA had artefacts from one of his excavations stuck in limbo, between a partage agreement with one country, and ‘due diligence processes introduced to counter acceptance of looted, smuggled, and other unprovenanced materials’ of another. Spriggs has a solution:
‘Norman Hammond's dilemma concerning depositing archaeological finds from excavations overseas with a UK museum caught my eye. This does seems a daft situation, and one would have thought that real “due diligence” would be to have the sense to look at the archaeological report and see from the drawings and photos of the burial that the finds belong together. Curators can be asses sometimes!’
In the last Salon I quoted a reviewer (of British Royal Tombs by Aidan Dodson FSA) who commented on burials in Wales. I hoped for a response, and was not disappointed. Here is what Maddy Gray FSA has to say:
“Wales has no royal burials.”
‘I know Arthur is not dead but sleeping, and Owain Glyndŵr is also said to be sleeping in a cave on the Herefordshire border (apparently he will come back in our hour of greatest need, so we aren't there yet) but what about all the others?
‘Of course, what your reviewer means is “there are no royal tombs in Wales” – or perhaps more accurately “there are no securely-identified royal tombs in Wales” and there I have to admit he has a point. The identification of the elaborately carved coffin in Llanrwst as that of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth rests on local tradition that it was brought from Maenan Abbey at the Dissolution. Brian Gittos FSA and Moira Gittos FSA have demolished the tradition that the semi-effigy in Beaumaris is that of Llywelyn's wife Siwan (or Joan, illegitimate daughter of King John of England) but it still seems probable that the person commemorated was royal. The most likely candidate is Eleanor de Montfort, wife of Llywelyn ab Gruffydd (see Brian and Moira Gittos, 'Gresham revisited: a fresh look at the medieval monuments of north Wales', Archaeologia Cambrensis 161 (2012: published 2013), 357-88, and my 'Four weddings, three funerals and a historic detective puzzle', available online).
‘There are also issues around the effigies attributed to Rhys ap Gruffydd, ruler of Deheubarth (d. 1197), and his son Rhys Gryg (d. 1233), in St David's Cathedral: the effigies are late fourteenth century but could be retrospectives. Then there are the headstones and tomb slabs attributed to members of the royal family of Deheubarth, east of the abbey church at Strata Florida.
‘Part of the problem is that commemoration of the dead, customarily done in England and elsewhere in Europe though the medium of carved stone, was in Wales more likely to be done in poetry. It might be useful, though, to point to the small number of surviving royal tombs in order to make this point.’
Photo shows a seal of Seal of Owain Glyndwr.
Many apologies to James Stevens Curl FSA for misspelling his name in the last Salon.
Tuesday 30th April
PLEASE NOTE THE DATE AND TIME OF THE MEETING
There will be a ballot for election of Fellows before the meeting which will open in the Meeting Room at 4.00pm and close at 4.20pm. Visitors will not be admitted to the Meeting Room during the ballot.
The Anniversary Meeting of the Society will be held in the Meeting Room, Burlington House, on TUESDAY 30th April 2019 at 5.00pm. Tea will be served in the Council Room from 4.15pm.
The Ballots for Director and for two Ordinary Members of Council are uncontested this year and therefore will not take place (as provided for in Order no 1, para 4.2). The Fellows who are candidates for the vacant posts are:
As Director (second term):
Professor Christopher Scull FSA MIFA
As Ordinary Council Members:
Professor Vincent Gaffney MBE FSA
Dr Samantha J Lucy FSA
In order to meet the requirement of Statute 4.4 that one third of the Ordinary Members of Council retire each year, we have asked the following, who are the longest serving members of Council but who have not completed their three years of office, to retire and immediately be co-opted to complete their agreed terms:
Dr John Maddison FSA (Vice President)
Dr Elizabeth Hallam-Smith CB, FSA, FRHistS, FRSA
Dr Alan Lloyd
The business to be conducted at the Anniversary Meeting is as follows:
- To thank the Director and Ordinary Members of Council whose term of service has come to an end
- To note the (re-) election of the above-named Fellows as Director and as Ordinary Members of Council for the period 2019-2022 (see overleaf for a list of Officers and Council for 2019-20).
- To approve the appointment of Kingston Smith LLP as the Society’s auditors for 2019-20
- To note the names of Fellows deceased and amoved during 2018-19
- To note and thank the Benefactors of the Society for 2018-19
- To award the Society’s medals to Dr John Maddison and Mr Martin Levy
The President’s Anniversary Address will follow.
JOHN S.C. LEWIS, FSA
General Secretary and Returning Officer
The Library will be completely closed to all researchers (Fellows and external researchers) from Wednesday 17th April and will re-open on Wednesday 24th April.
Details of this and other planned closures can be found on the library webpage
Forthcoming Events for Fellows
You can catch up on meetings you've missed by visiting our YouTube Channel.
Ordinary Meetings of Fellows
Interested in proposing a lecture? Please download the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins, Communications Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Introductory Tours for Fellows
If you've never visited Burlington House or had an introduction to the Library and Collections, please join an introductory tour. You'll meet the Society's staff, learn about your Fellowship benefits, and discover more from the collections at Burlington House.
Regional Groups: Help Needed!
South-West Regional Fellows Group, Nigel Llewellyn FSA writes:
''To enhance the programme of SAL/University of Exeter archaeology seminars currently organised by Hajnalka Herold FSA, I am volunteering to try to convene additional meetings on other topics of interest to Fellows. Joint seminars might be held with the Medieval and Early Modern research groups at Exeter or with similar groups at other south-west universities and institutions, for example, at Bristol. It might also be possible to arrange visits to sites of archaeological or historical interest within the region and social gatherings for Fellows. The Society's budget could support 3 or 4 additional meetings per annum.
Would any Fellows based in the region willing to indicate their preferences for the kinds of programme that they would like to see, or willing to offer papers and those willing to attend such additional meetings, please contact me on email@example.com".
Regional Fellows Groups
South West Fellows
Further information on talks at Exeter can be found here.
Want to join the South West Regional Fellows Group? Please see bulletin above regarding potential upcoming activities. You can sign-up to hear about future activities, here.
Want to join the Welsh Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to attend any current events, please email Bob Child at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you wish to be added to the mailing list, sign-up here.
Want to join the York Regional Fellows Group? If you would like to receive email updates about forthcoming meetings in York, sign-up here.
The meeting to be held in the Bedingfield Room, The Bar Convent, York. The Bar Convent (www.bar-convent.org.uk) is very near the Nunnery Lane car park, Nunnery Lane, York, YO23 1AA. The meeting will begin with refreshments at 18.00, with the presentation at 18.30, concluding with a meal organised by our new steward, Nicola Rogers at 20.00. For those who wish to join us I would be grateful, for catering purposes, if you could let me know if you are able to attend the meeting as well as the meal following. Please remember that you may now bring up to five guests to the meeting. Dr Ailsa Mainman FSA (email@example.com)
- 14 May 2019: “Petuaria ReVisited – Rediscovering Roman Brough and environs” by Dr Peter Halkon FSA
Other Heritage Events
27 March: John Brookes: His Landscape Legacy (London)
John Brookes is most often associated with the ‘room outside’, the subject of his seminal book of 1969 inspired by his early work in small London gardens. This talk will demonstrate how over the subsequent 50 years he remained at the forefront of design by creating distinctive gardens and landscapes increasingly based on ecological principles and designing in harmony with nature and the local vernacular – without losing sight of his belief that a garden is a place for use by people. The talk by Barbara Simms, Institute of Historical Research, University of London, is part of the Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season 2018–19. Details online, and contact Sally Jeffery FSA, firstname.lastname@example.org or 0208 994 6969.
April (date TBC): Scripting Spadework: Publishing Archaeology in the Late 19th and early 20th Centuries (London)
A talk by Amara Thornton FSA, Honorary Research Associate, UCL, the last in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. A new PhD-led research group, Exploring the Institutionalisation of Archaeology, is examining the historical and contemporary intersections between archaeology, museums, and collections, hoping to bring to light hidden histories which shaped the discipline of archaeology. Details online.
1-2 April: Antiquarian 'Science' in the Scholarly Society (Society of Antiquaries)
This is workshop II of the AHRC International Networking Grant: Collective Wisdom: Collecting in the Early Modern Academy. What was the relationship between archaeological fieldwork or antiquarianism and learned travel or the Grand Tour? What does collecting on tour say about the manner and scale of personal and institutional contacts between London and the 'scientific' world of the Continent? What tools of natural philosophy were utilised to understand buildings and artefacts? What were the implications of the collecting of ethnographic objects for political dominance and Empire? This workshop is dedicated to discussing these questions. A link to registration and a draft programme may be found here: https://collectivewisdom.uoregon.edu/workshop-ii/
2 April: Exeter (London)
The Georgian Group is holding a series of lectures exploring aspects of the Georgian architecture of a number of towns and cities in the context of their social and economic history. This lecture by Rosemary Yallop will focus on Exeter. Details online.
3 April: Starting in Post-Excavation (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce participants to what post-excavation is and why we do it, and to the process that takes us from the site record to a completed report. The focus of the course will be on report types that are common in professional practice and generated by development-led fieldwork (including evaluations, watching briefs and small scale excavations with limited results). It will be ideal for archaeologists in, or moving into, supervisory roles that involve the preparation of reports. Course Directors: Alistair Douglas, Assistant Project Manager, Pre-Construct Archaeology, and Jon Hart, Senior Publications Officer, Cotswold Archaeology. Details online.
4 April: Lambeth Under Laud - New Perspectives on the Archbishop and his Household (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. William Laud is one of the most controversial archbishops to have lived at Lambeth, but relatively little is known about his life as a private individual and his role at Lambeth Palace. Leonie James will provide a fresh perspective on Laud and showing what life was like at the Palace while he was head of the household. This talk will be accompanied by a small display of material from the Library’s collections. Details online.
5–7 April: The Construction History Society Annual Conference (Cambridge)
James Campbell FSA, Chairman of the Construction History Society, will welcome attendees to the Sixth Annual Conference, with the AGM on Saturday, an annual lecture (Sarah MacLeod on saving Wentworth Woodhouse) and dinner on Saturday night, and a tour of Boughton House on Sunday. The theme of the first day will be water. The second day will cover any aspect of construction history. There will be a special session on doors. Details online.
6 April: Exploring the Archaeology of Yorkshire Landscapes (Hull)
A Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society conference at the University of Hull, inspired by Tony Pacitto (1931–2003), archaeologist, air photographer, excavator, geophysicist and metal detectorist. The conference will be opened by Ian Stead FSA, and papers from Matthew Oakey, James Lyall, Peter Halkon FSA, Paula Ware, Marcus Jecock FSA and Tony Hunt will focus on landscapes within the East Riding of Yorkshire and parts of North Yorkshire, reviewing techniques for revealing archaeological sites from prehistory through to the medieval period, new insights into Iron Age chariot burials and the later prehistoric settlement of the Yorkshire Wolds. Details online.
9 April: Bristol (London)
The Georgian Group is holding a series of lectures exploring aspects of the Georgian architecture of a number of towns and cities in the context of their social and economic history. This lecture by Andrew Foyle will focus on Bristol. Details online.
10 April: Studying Orchards in Eastern England (London)
Orchards have formed an important part of our culture for centuries, but investigations of their history are hampered by persistent myths concerning the age of particular examples, and about the antiquity of the fruit varieties they contain. These issues are being addressed by a research project based at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. This talk will discuss the history of different kinds of orchard – farmhouse, institutional, commercial, and as elements in designed landscapes. It will also explore a range of related issues, including the age and origins of ‘traditional’ fruit varieties. The talk by Tom Williamson, University of East Anglia, is part of the Gardens Trust’s Winter Lecture Season 2018–19. Details online, and contact Sally Jeffery FSA, email@example.com or 0208 994 6969.
14–26 April: UK Archaeological Sciences Conference 2019 (Manchester)
The UKAS 2019 conference will take place in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB). Themes include site interpretation, cultural heritage resource management, trace element analysis and material sourcing, origins and spread of agriculture, health and disease, isotopes and subsistence strategies, imaging techniques, portable techniques and environmental archaeology and geoscience. Details online.
15 April: Scripting Spadework: Publishing Archaeology in the 19th/20th C (London)
A talk by Amara Thornton FSA in a monthly series given by curators, academics, and PhD researchers in the Virginia Woolf Building, King's College. Her talk will draw on her 2018 publication, Archaeologists in Print. Details online.
16 April: Derby (London)
The Georgian Group is holding a series of lectures exploring aspects of the Georgian architecture of a number of towns and cities in the context of their social and economic history. This lecture by Max Craven FSA will focus on Derby. Details online.
16 April: Project Management in Archaeology: an Introduction (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course is designed for those who are new to the role of project management and will draw on the extensive experience of the tutors in development-led archaeology. While some familiarity with development-led archaeology will be beneficial, the course will be relevant to those taking on project management roles generally within the historic environment sector. Health and Safety management not covered. Course Director: Nick Shepherd, independent heritage consultant and CEO of FAME. Speakers: Ben Ford, Senior Project Manager, Oxford Archaeology; Anne Dodd, Strategy Delivery Officer and former Head of Post-Excavation, Oxford Archaeology. Details online.
27 April: Four Northamptonshire Churches (Wansford)
Michael Thompson FSA and Jean Wilson FSA will lead a tour of monuments with the Church Monuments Society in the churches of Thornhaugh, Apethorpe, Fotheringhay and Blatherwyck. Details online.
29 April: The Formation of Renaissance Taste in Early Victorian Britain: The Second Duke and Duchess of Sutherland as Collectors of Florentine Copies (London)
Giuseppe Rizzo, PhD candidate at the Rupert-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
2 May: Stratigraphic Analysis in Archaeology (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. The course is designed for those who are familiar with the processes of excavation and stratigraphic recording, and are looking to develop their skills in the post-excavation stages of analysis, dating, interpretation and description. The course will comprise a combination of presentations to explain theory and approaches, and practical sessions providing opportunities for participants to work with real data. Course Director: Victoria Ridgeway, editor and manager of Pre-Construct Archaeology’s monograph series. Tutor: Rebecca Haslam, Senior Archaeologist, Pre-Construct Archaeology. Details online.
4 May: Sussex Archaeology Symposium 2019 (Lewes)
The Sussex Archaeology Symposium is an annual event held by the Sussex School of Archaeology which showcases recent archaeological research in the county and beyond. Speakers include Jaime Kaminski FSA and David Rudling FSA, exploring thousands of years of the human past in South-East England. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, details online.
May 8: The Protestant Cemetery in Rome (London)
Nicholas Stanley-Price FSA will talk at the Dissenters' Chapel, Kensal Green Cemetery at 6.30 for 7pm. The Protestant Cemetery in Rome is the resting place of poets John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley among many British and other eminent individuals. Stanley-Price has written on the history of the Cemetery, and will be pleased to answer questions on its management after the talk.
8 May: Dr Andrew Ducarel, Lambeth Librarian 1757-85, Seen through his Brother’s Eyes (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. Andrew Ducarel FSA, the eldest of three Huguenot brothers, was a successful ecclesiastical lawyer, Librarian at Lambeth, historian of the palaces of Lambeth and Croydon and of the architecture of Normandy. In The Two Brothers, a new book by Robin Myers FSA, it is his younger brother James who takes centre stage, writing letters to Andrew in London about his life in France. Details online.
8–9 May: The Setting of Heritage Assets and Places (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. In the context of official guidance and wide-ranging experience of practical casework, this course explains why the setting of historic places matters, and the principles and practical skills of sound assessment and decision-making. Course Director: George Lambrick, with Stephen Carter (Headland Archaeology), Ian Houlston (LDA Design), Richard Morrice (Historic England), Julian Munby (Oxford Archaeology), Michael Pirie (Green College), Ken Smith (formerly Peak District National Park), Karin Taylor (National Trust) and David Woolley QC (formerly Landmark Chambers). Details online.
9-10 May: Collections in Circulation: Mobile Museum Conference (London)
This conference will bring together scholars from the UK and overseas with a shared interest in the mobility of museum collections, past and present. Their papers will address various aspects of the history of the circulation of objects and their re-mobilisation in the context of object exchange, educational projects and community engagement. This conference is organised by the Mobile Museum project, an AHRC-funded collaboration between Royal Holloway, University of London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Details online.
May 14: Petuaria ReVisited – Rediscovering Roman Brough and Environs (York)
Peter Halkon FSA will talk for a York Antiquaries Lecture in the Bedingfield Room, The Bar Convent at 6pm for 6.30. Since 2014 there has been new interest in this neglected Roman site on the Humber, with some spectacular discoveries. The Petuaria ReVisited project has enabled large scale geophysics to be carried out, revealing large densely packed buildings, walls and roadways, providing a context for a famous inscription commemorating the erection of a new stage by Marcus Ulpius Januarius, Aedile of the Vicus of Petuaria, found by Philip Corder FSA in 1937.
18 May: The Medieval Port of London (London)
A conference organised by the Docklands History Group to be held at the Museum of London, where people with a long involvement in the history and archaeology of the River Thames and the City of London will present papers on a varied range of subjects relating to the Medieval Port of London. Speakers include John Clark FSA, Nathalie Cohen FSA, Gustav Milne FSA, Edward Sargent FSA and John Schofield FSA. Details online.
20 May: Gotha’s Chinese Cabinet: Duke August’s Collection of East Asian Objects (London)
Emily Teo, PhD candidate at University of Kent and Free University of Berlin, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
4 June: The Library of Richard Holdsworth (1590-1649): New Light on the Manuscripts (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. Richard Holdsworth – academic, preacher, theologian and bibliophile – bequeathed his entire library to the University of Cambridge. On its arrival in 1664, this amounted to a second foundation of Cambridge University Library, but it has barely been studied. Jean-Pascal Pouzet’s presentation offers a survey of current research on the collection, together with the first tangible results on Holdsworth’s manuscripts. Details online.
6–7 June: Fibres in Early Textiles, from Prehistory to AD 1600 (Glasgow)
The Early Textiles Study Group will be holding its 16th conference at the University of Glasgow, on the theme of textile fibres. There will be a full programme of 23 papers, with posters, practical demonstrations and an optional excursion to places related to the textile heritage of Scotland on 8 June. The subject matter includes fibre sources and their preparation techniques; excavated evidence from Europe, Asia, the Americas and New Zealand, from the Stone Age to the Middle Ages; ethnographic material; and modern analytical methods of fibre identification. An international panel of speakers includes Margarita Gleba FSA and Penelope Walton Rogers FSA. Details online.
15–16 June: Tour of South Somerset and Dorset Churches (Sherborne)
This two day coach excursion with the Church Monuments Society will visit some of the finest churches in the South-West – Trent, Montacute, Hinton St George, Sherborne Abbey, Melbury Sampford, Dorchester St Peter, Puddletown and Milton Abbey – containing some of the finest monuments in England. Details online.
24 June: Delivering Public Benefit through Archaeology (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course looks at how we can plan projects to deliver public benefit consistently, how to communicate that benefit effectively, and how to evaluate the impact of our work. It is designed for all those responsible for commissioning, specifying and/or delivering programmes of work in our sector that aim to deliver public benefit. Course Director: Kate Geary, Head of Professional Development and Practice, CifA. Tutors: Taryn Nixon, independent archaeologist and heritage adviser, formerly Chief Executive of MOLA (1997-2017); Rob Lennox, CIfA, whose PhD research looked at heritage and politics in the public value era. Details online.
28 June: Lord Stewartby – The Numismatic Legacy (London)
Lord Stewartby FSA (1935–2018) was a leading figure in British numismatic scholarship in the second half of the 20th century. At this all day Symposium at the British Academy, structured around topics with which Lord Stewartby was deeply engaged, leading figures who place the use of numismatic evidence at the forefront of historical and archaeological interpretation will explore recent work which builds on his contributions to numismatic scholarship. Four sessions will cover Britain AD 300–400, Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Viking England 800–1100, the British Isles 100-1150, and Scottish Coinage 1140–1707. Details online.
1 July: A Woman of Taste: Mrs R A Workman’s Collection of Modern French Painting (London)
Frances Fowle, Professor of Nineteenth-Century Art, University of Edinburgh and Senior Curator of French Art, National Gallery of Scotland, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
3–4 July: Understanding and Conserving Historic Gardens and Designed Landscapes (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. An increasing number of historic gardens and landscapes are opening their doors to the paying public. Owners and managers, reliant on tourist income, are seeking to widen their visitor base. Such development can sometimes be at odds with the conservation needs of historic sites, and this course will provide the tools for balancing the needs of developing tourist attractions with conservation and care. For trustees, volunteers and staff responsible for managing or working in a historic garden or designed landscape. Course Director: John Watkins, Head of Gardens and Landscape at the English Heritage Trust. Speakers to include: Brian Dix, Linden Groves, Emily Parker, Robin Copeland, David Lambert. Details online.
17 July: Translating Becket: New Themes, New Meanings in the Life and Afterlife of St Thomas of Canterbury 1170-2020 (London)
A Lambeth Palace Library event. The talk by Nicholas Vincent FSA will follow the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library. He has published widely on English and European history in the 12th and 13th centuries, most recently on King John and Magna Carta. This lecture anticipates the 850th anniversary of Becket’s martyrdom next year and will be accompanied by a display of manuscripts from the Library’s collections. Details from email@example.com or 020 7898 1400.
29 July: ‘The Great Joss and his Playthings’: George IV as a Print Collector (London)
Kate Heard, Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust, speaks in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
18 September: Post-Excavation Assessment in Practice (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce recent guidance to PX, and review the essential components of assessment and updated project design. In the afternoon we will review examples from current practice and consider how far they meet their purpose and justify funding decisions. The course is designed for those in supervisory, junior management or specialist roles who will be compiling and contributing to PX assessments, and those in consultancy and curatorial roles who commission and evaluate them. Course Director: Leo Webley, Head of Post-Excavation, Oxford Archaeology South. Tutors: Edward Biddulph, Senior Project Manager and Roman pottery specialist, Oxford Archaeology South; Sarah Wyles, Senior Environmental Officer, Cotswold Archaeology. Details online.
21 September: Suffolk by the Sea (Southwold)
The 5th Wheeler Conference of the Suffolk Institute of Archaeology & History will consider the impact of the coast on Suffolk’s heritage from prehistory to medieval times. Topics include exploring Doggerland, crossing the North Sea and Scandinavian ships, Medieval trade, underwater archaeology at Dunwich, and Southwold museum (Museum of the Year 2017). Speakers include Brian Ayers FSA, Paul Constantine, Vince Gaffney FSA, David Sear and Simon Loftus. Details online.
25–27 September: Heritage Values and the Assessment of Significance (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. Significance assessment is a key part of management and of development within the historic environment. This course will introduce the process, show you what is involved in preparing assessments of significance, teach you how to read and judge such assessments, and explore the ways in which they can be used. Open to all, but of particular interest to heritage asset managers and advisers, planners, historic environment professionals and architects, surveyors and others who do not specialise in heritage but may need to understand assessments and their value in guiding change. Course Director: Stephen Bond, Director of Heritage Places and joint author of Managing Built Heritage. Course Co-Director: Henry Russell, Course Director of the programme in Conservation of the Historic Environment, Reading University. Details online.
27 September: Maritime Archaeology (Chatham)
This will be Chatham Historic Dockyard’s first course, with three morning talks covering themes on the history and work of the dockyard at Chatham, the built heritage and conservation of maritime architecture at Portsmouth dockyard, and marine archaeology across east Kent. Lunch will be provided, followed by a guided tour of the dockyard, introduced by the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust and led by Peter Kendall FSA of Historic England. Details online.
30 September: ‘The Aura of Popularity’: The Rise and Fall of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo in the Nineteenth-Century British Art Market (London)
Isabelle Kent, Enriqueta Harris Frankfort Curatorial Assistant, The Wallace Collection, speaks in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
10 October: Archaeological Desk-Based Assessments (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course informs participants about the role of desk-based assessments in managing the cultural heritage resource and provides a practical guide to their production. It will also include guidance on the use of desk-based assessments to fulfil the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The course will be of interest to all those who are currently (or hope to be) involved in the commissioning or production of desk-based assessments. It is targeted towards new entrants to the profession and those who would like to develop skills in this area. Course Directors: Jill Hind (formerly Senior Project Mgr Oxford Archaeology) and Melanie Pomeroy-Kellinger, County Archaeologist for Wiltshire. Details online.
28 October: Architectural Salvage from Cairo to London: The Pivotal Role of the Paris Exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 (London)
Moya Carey, Curator of Islamic Collections, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin, and Mercedes Volait, Research Professor at CNRS, based at InVisu, INHA, Paris, speak in a series of Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
31 October: Archaeological Writing for Publication (Oxford)
A short practical course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course will introduce the standard types of published reports currently produced by archaeologists, and how the scope and content of a report is planned. The course will then focus on two key components, the stratigraphic narrative and the discussion, and the most effective and successful ways of approaching the planning, writing and illustration of these. This will include a critical review of a number of examples, to identify common mistakes and how to avoid them. We will also look at the special requirements that apply to writing in a professional and academic context. The course will involve some preparatory reading before the training day. Course Director: Elizabeth Popescu, Post-Excavation and Publications Manager, Oxford Archaeology East. Details online.
15 November: Curating Decay (Waltham Abbey)
This will be Waltham Abbey Gunpowder Mills’ first course, with three morning talks covering a range of issues in the management of vulnerable heritage sites, and reimagining how we might adopt an ethical stance that allows us to collaborate with natural processes and decay, rather than fighting against them. Lunch will be provided, followed by a chance to visit the Royal Gunpowder Mills exhibition and a guided tour of the site led by Wayne Cocroft FSA. Details online.
25 November: A ‘Fauve de la Curiosité’: The Hybrid Career of Edouard Jonas (1883-1961), Dealer and Curator (London)
Barbara Lasic, Lecturer in History of Art and Coordinator of Postgraduate Programmes, University of Buckingham, speaks in a series of free Seminars on the History of Collecting, in the Wallace Collection Lecture Theatre. Details online.
27–29 November: Public Inquiry Workshop (Oxford)
A short course at Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, Rewley House, designed to provide training in key skills and concepts for archaeologists and built heritage professionals. This course is a practical workshop carefully designed to improve the performance of anyone who might be called upon to participate in a Public Inquiry concerned with the historic environment. It will present the terms of procedure, the roles of the participants and the general feel of a Public Inquiry. A mock Public Inquiry will be mounted using a genuine case study. Training for potential witnesses will be given in how to prepare evidence for a Public Inquiry, how to produce proofs of evidence, and to experience them being given and tested under realistic conditions. You will be allocated a role to play in the Inquiry and asked to prepare a proof of evidence to fit this role. Active participation limited to 14 participants. There will also be a limited number of places available for observers. Course Directors: Roger M Thomas, Barrister and Archaeologist; George Lambrick, Independent Archaeology and Heritage Consultant. Planning Inspector: Richard Tamplin. Advocates: David Woolley QC and Allan Ledden, Solicitor. Details online.
Call for Papers
5 October: One Thousand Years of Ceramic Innovation (London)
Joint conference of the Medieval Pottery Research Group and the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, at Mortimer Wheeler House, London. From the introduction of the potter’s wheel, to the spread of factory production during the Industrial Revolution and beyond, the ceramic industries of the UK have been progressively transformed by waves of innovation. This conference will focus on technological, stylistic and functional advances introduced into potteries across the country from the 11th century to the present day. Expressions of interest with a brief summary (up to 200 words) for papers up to 30 minutes long (including questions) should be sent by 1 May 2019 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details online.
The Georgian Group seeks a Membership and Fundraising Support Manager for a full-time salaried post. Closing date 12 April.
The Georgian Group is an independent charity whose purpose is to protect and promote the appreciation of 18th-century architecture and landscape. It is one of seven national amenity societies and is a statutory consultee in the planning process in England and Wales.
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with a strong interest in the charitable and heritage sectors, to assist in the development of the Group’s relationship with its members, and to support the Group’s initiatives to raise funds from its members and external sources, helping to ensure that casework, campaigning and educational activities can be sustained and developed. Details online.
The Council for British Archaeology (CBA) is seeking an Honorary Treasurer. Closing date 30 April.
Based in York, the CBA is a UK-wide educational charity working to involve people in archaeology and promote appreciation and care of the historic environment. Working with the Chair, Trustees and Senior Leadership Team, the new Hon Treasurer would oversee strategic financial management, present internal accounts and annual financial statements to Trustees, advise on the financial implications of the charity’s strategic plan, and attend to other duties in line with good governance, legal and regulatory requirements.
The Hon Treasurer would have appropriate skills and experience of charity fundraising and finance practices, knowledge of charity SORP and a proven ability to explain financial information to members of the Board and other stakeholders. Commitment up to two days per month. Trustees meet four times a year, normally in York and London. The Hon Treasurer is a key member of the Resources Committee which meets at least three times a year.
For further details and an informal conversation about the role please contact Mike Heyworth FSA, CBA Director, on 01904 671417 or by email at email@example.com. Details online.
London Archaeologist is seeking a volunteer to join the Publication Committee in the essential role of Secretary. Elections will take place at the AGM on 16 May.
London Archaeologist, published quarterly, is the only magazine devoted to the archaeology of the capital, and has been an indispensable resource since 1968. It gets involved in education and community archaeology events, and provides a forum for discussion and advocacy. The Secretary’s duties include organising the quarterly Committee meetings and taking the minutes; arranging the AGM and Annual Lecture with the relevant advance notices; maintaining the journal’s archive; ensuring that London Archaeologist conforms to charity law and meets Charity Commission requirements.
Please contact Jenny Hall FSA at firstname.lastname@example.org with expressions of interest or for further details.
Propose a Lecture or Seminar
Please download and complete the Lecture Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (email@example.com), the Society's Communications Manager, if you are interested in giving a lecture at one of the Society's Ordinary Meetings (Thursday evenings at 17.00) or as part of our Public Lecture series (occasional Tuesday afternoons at 13.00). We welcome papers based on new research or themes related to the Society's field of interest: the study of the material past. You can view our current lecture programme in the Events section of our website.
Fellows are also encouraged to propose topics or themes for conferences or seminars that bring scholars and professionals from a variety of disciplines together to explain, discuss and debate our material culture. Please download and complete the Conference Proposal Form, and email it to Danielle Wilson Higgins (firstname.lastname@example.org), if you are interested in helping us organise such an event.